Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The LCROSS Twitter Feed...

Pretty amusing if you haven't read it: LCROSS Twitter Feed


Zakhur said...

I pulled the following quote from a article:

The only immediate result the LCROSS science team reported was a detection of sodium in the tenuous lunar atmosphere. Colaprete said the measurement jumped out as a result of heating from the impact.

"Something was thermalized down in the crater when we hit it. Temperatures got hot enough, reacted with the surface perhaps or reacted with the ambient atmosphere enough to excite sodium atoms," Colaprete said.

"Why an impact like this would excite it is a good question and that's something we're really going to follow up on," he said.

The explanation for this excitation is likely the voltage difference between the lunar surface and the LCROSS rocket. An electric discharge occurred between the rocket and the surface just before the rocket's impact.

I've gotten the impression that the plume was smaller than anticipated. This is likely because the rocket was partially vaporized by the discharge event.

Just guessing here, though.

Valkyrie Ice said...

Nasa has had enough evidence of voltage discharge to be able to land craft on the moon without destruction, so if one occurred it would have had to have been by design. They did lose numerous craft while working up to Apollo. The fact that they won't admit that as a reason for why so many early moon probes "ceased to function just before landing" is just the usual refusal to admit to electric phenomena in space.

However, considering the moon is tidal locked and in close proximity to the earth the charge differential is not going to be that extreme, as the moon is too close to the earth to maintain a large differential without either being repulsed or attracted.

In all likelihood the plume was smaller than expected for one of two reasons: The Lcross did not crash directly into the moon's surface, instead crashing into multiple tiers of glass supports for a dome before actual impact, which considering the fairly small mass, would have absorbed a large part of the kinetic force before it hit the surface, or, if the Hollow moon theory has any merit, it is possible that the impact was so carefully chosen not for "always being in shadow" but because that "shadow" may have concealed an opening.

I watched the impact. I was frowning when Nasa suddenly had to "drop the resolution because too much contrast data was surpassing the broadcast bandwidth of the camera" at approx two minutes to impact. The picture went from a sharp clear image of the crater to one which the gamma seemed to have suddenly been reduced to 50% or less.

And then absolutely NOTHING visible on camera or FLIR during the impact. And the final camera shot seemed to come from a mile or more above the surface when they declared "probe has crashed" and the feed ceased.

Gort said...

Valkyrie Ice, where did you see the live coverage? The NASA TV coverage was a zoom-in on a picture that was published on the LCROSS Project page four days before the impact. A still is on their website, it is from a power point. New animation of impact, based on the new target.

"October 5, 2009:
This simulation provided by Mission Principal Investigator Tony Colaprete shows the anticipated view from the LCROSS Shepherding Spacecraft’s NIR camera looking at the expanding plume from the Centaur impact as the Shepherding Spacecraft approaches Cabeus crater. .ppt for download"
from this page:

The link to the power point is:


Valkyrie Ice said...

I watched what Nasa said was LIVE feed at 730 am on the Nasatv webpage on oct 9.

I found a link to the live coverage on Huffington Post and tuned in at 7:15 to watch.

It showed a shot of the moon slowly getting bigger, then two to three minutes before impact they said the contrast data was overwhelming the bandwidth and that they were going to switch to a lower bandwidth picture at which point the bright clear picture of the moon became a dark grey with little contrast. FLIR showed little but a few bright spots of sunlight mostly featureless blue.

At impact, no flash. FLIR about ten seconds later, no warmspot.

Nothing. Zip. Nada.

My mate and I looked at each other and said "that was it?"

Then a few minutes later, pic cuts off seemingly still about a mile up, and voice saying "probe has impacted."

marsandro said...

Hello Zakhur,

I would point out that heating
would be a result of *power*
and not simply voltage, as it is the quantity
of charge transfered
that would matter in such
an event.


T = k (Q / m)

for which---:

T = temperature (choose your scale)
k = proportionality constant (for the scale
in question)
Q = the quantity of heat, in this case to be
proportional to the charge transfered, hence
Q = k' x q(e)
and m = the excited sodium mass, where
m = N x m(o)[for sodium]
and N is the number of moles of sodium excited
and m(o) is the atomic mass of sodium

The q(e) required for such an event would be

...and, in my opinion, unlikely.

The heat was that generated by the impact itself,
more than likely.

This, in turn, will relate to the value of the
dT/dt in a more or less direct proportion, for
which one then integrates to get the impact
site temperature for the quantity of heated
material (sodium included).

Now *that* would have the requisite energy.

Don't forget about the mass fractions.... ;-))

Such is the opinion of an ignorant schmuck such
as myself. ;-)


Hathor -- Getting needlessly technical


Zakhur said...

I appreciate technical, and I follow you for the most part. I rather felt, at any rate, that the probe was too small for significant energy release for an electric potential equalization event to produce the observed effects. I was also working off the assumption described on that the Moon, for some reason, possesses a different electric potential than expected from an object in this zone of the solar/anode potential field, and I attributed this to the possibility (for which Hoagland is seeking confirmation) that the Moon is an artificial construction.

On another aspect of this:

Hoagland mentioned on C2C that the standard lunar formation model doesn't include elements like sodium in any significant quantities (I think that's what he said). Of course, this doesn't rule out element formation from preexisting lunar material over periods of time caused by lunar surface interaction with the solar/anode potential field (I don't know how that would work, if at all).

But anyway, here is an hypothesis: the glass domes and/or their support structure contain sodium. Here are some associated questions:

-Would they?
-If so, why?
-Can it be determined if sodium was excited above the impact site?

I think someone already brought this up, in a way, somewhere else on this blog. Can we be very serious about this? I mean avoiding purely random speculation.

marsandro said...

Hi Zakhur,


"But anyway, here is an hypothesis: the glass
domes and/or their support structure contain
sodium. Here are some associated questions:

-Would they?
-If so, why?
-Can it be determined if sodium was excited above
the impact site?"

I will attempt some answers for you:

1. Would the glass domes contain sodium?

Yes, if it was necessary to the melting procedure
when the glass was manufactured, which is
important for various reasons (at least for glass
made on Earth).

2. If so, why?

Aside from the melting procedure, it might relate
to the nature of the original environment that the
domes were meant to have to withstand. (This
presumes the domes predate the arrival of the
Moon here some 14,500 years ago, as numerous
ancient records state.)

It might also relate to some electrical or chemical
property the glass was meant to have in order
to support the function of some unknown type
of technology---i.e., some function the domes
performed that we might never guess at our
present stage of development.

I presume we *are* looking at "alien" hardware,
after all. :-)

3. Can it be determined if sodium was excited
above the impact site?

I'm not sure I see the relevance of the question,
unless you mean specifically, "in the plume right
after impact."

I can only assume you are "fishing" for some sort
of electrical phenomenon you assume might have
been present. Unless LCROSS was designed to look
for it, there is no way to know for sure at this

I say "for sure" because we are outside NASA....

I can only assume the LCROSS could see everything
down below...plume and all. Useless piece of junk
if it couldn't.

The initial thermal excitation resulting from the
impact would have a duration that likely would
overlap "plume time" for this event, so I think
a qualified *yes* can be offered, at least on that

Does this meet your criteria of being *very* serious
and avoiding random speculation?


Hathor -- Playing along...for the moment...


Valkyrie Ice said...

Another point.

Sodium is a component of sodium chloride, which is commonly found in large bodies of water.

AKA Salt.

Large domes would have likely covered sections which were terraformed, which also includes a high possibility of saltwater mini oceans.

marsandro said...

Granted, Val.

The sodium might not have come
from the glass itself.

But we can only speculate about that.... :-)

I was trying to keep it non-speculative for Mr. Z,
by addressing only his questions, and strictly in
his context.


Hathor -- Giving room to *some* speculation...


P.S.: Hmmm...speaking of speculation:

Perhaps the absense of an *impact* plume was
because when the booster broke through the
glass, the initial SPLASH was contained by the
remaining intact glass, and the *latent* plume
was the central ballistic plume of *water* that
was produced by the rebounding Reynolds flow,
which then dispersed in the vacuum outside the

Now I'm only speculating.... :-)p


P.P.S.: Has anybody realized that what NASA is
doing is tantamount to throwing rocks through
somebody's windows?

If I were The Aliens, I'd be ticked....


marsandro said...

Oh, and Val,

As you say, another point.

The sodium atoms in question are said to have
been "excited," suggesting that they had been
heated, presumably by the impact.

If they had been in water beneath the presumed
glass, I would expect the *immediate quench* of
the impact debris to preclude any such excitation.

I therefore *assume* that said *excited* sodium
atoms were from said glass.

Hence, for Mr. Z's purposes, my speculations remain
exactly that---speculations.

Close enough for Government work, eh, Val? :-))))

(NASA, that is....)


Hathor -- Just wanting to be clear as glass about


P.S.: Had NaCl been involved, I would have to ask,
what happened to the excited chlorine???

No spectral line evident for that, apparently....

Comment, Zakhur?


Valkyrie Ice said...

to be honest, I wasn't even considering actual water, merely evaporation residue. As for Chlorine, I don't know much about how salt would deal with radiation in a vacuum, but over a few thousand years it might be possible the NaCl was irradiated enough to separate out the CL which as a gas would have escaped.

That is pure speculation BTW.

I think the most likely is that the LCross crashed into an outer dome composed of several layered levels of reinforcing glass lattice works. There would be no plume to see if it spread out under the dome, just a small puff that might have escaped the entry hole. If the rocket hit multiple layers each would have absorbed some of the impact as well.

IF, and I reiterate IF, the moon was an artificial construct/spaceship, it seems likely the domes would have been composed of materials able to absorb enormous levels of interstellar radiation. Perhaps the sodium is part of the shielding? No real data to go on.

What really needs to happen is a few nations like China or India going to the moon and coming back with artifacts that they are willing to publicly announce, and evidence they are willing to have examined, followed by repeated expeditions doing the same thing. Nasa can influence ESA and Japan, but China and India are rapidly considering themselves equals and unwilling to simply do as the USA and NASA demands.

Or a few commercial trips to the moon by private citizens will solve the questions really quick.

marsandro said...

Okay, Val.

I was going on your reference
to "saltwater mini oceans."



Hathor -- Checking out SCUBA gear